In Brief

UFO sightings: former minister claims government conspiracy

Former Canadian defence minister believes dozens of aliens species may already live among us

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A former Canadian defence minister has accused world leaders of covering up evidence that proves the existence of UFOs.

Paul Hellyer, who served in Canada in the 1960s, is heading a speaking tour demanding that governments worldwide release all the information they have on UFOs, the Canadian news network CTV reports.

On Saturday, Hellyer addressed a crowd of 400 people in Calgary on the latest stop of the Disclosure Canada Tour.

The 91-year-old first expressed his belief that governments are covering up proof of alien life in 2005. He believes that UFOs are as common in our skies as aeroplanes and that aliens may already be living on Earth.

According to Hellyer there are 80 different species of extra-terrestrials. Speaking to Russian television last year, he said some of them "look just like us and they could walk down the street and you wouldn't know if you walked past one".

In Hellyer's view, most aliens are harmless but a handful have ulterior motives. He says they are worried that humans may detonate more nuclear weapons, which "affect not just us but other people in the cosmos".

Speaking on the weekend, he lambasted the mainstream media for ignoring his beliefs. "Much of the media won't touch it," he told CTV. "So you  just have to keep working away and hope that someday you get a critical mass, and they will say, in one way or another, 'Mr President or Mr Prime Minister, we want the truth and we want it now because it affects our lives.'"

Meanwhile, a new book claims that Ronald Reagan once asked Mikhail Gorbachev for help fighting aliens. Author David Clarke said: "[Reagan] surprised Gorby by saying he was sure the two superpowers would co-operate if Earth was threatened by alien invasion. Taken aback, the Soviet leader politely changed the subject."

Mysterious flashes in sky over Russia prompt UFO theories

31 March

A mysterious white flash that lit up the night sky in southern Russia has left residents and experts puzzled.

The noiseless burst of light was captured on a dashboard-mounted camera above Stavropol earlier this month. According to the Moscow Times, it caused lights to flicker in some homes and knocked out a number of street lamps.

One woman, who was in bed at the time, said she was "very frightened" by the flash. "It looked as if something very bright lit up my ceiling," she said.

Theories for the extraordinary incident include military action, music concerts, the Northern Lights and even a UFO.

The flash was seen at around 9.30pm on 16 March after President Vladimir Putin announced that 40,000 troops would take part in military drills across the country ahead of the first anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Scientists at the local Stavropol Meteorological Centre said the flash "cannot have been natural" and was more likely to have been "made by a human being".

Another meteorologist suggested it was caused by a special high-powered projector lamp used by airports in Russia to measure the height of clouds.

Others believe the inexplicable lights were proof of aliens, says ABC News.

One ufologist, Sergei Pakhamov, told local state television: "It's a kind of photo-flash. They were photographing the city."

The burst of white light comes four months after a huge yellow flash lit up the sky near Yekaterinburg, 2,400km north-east of Stavropol. Russian authorities refused to comment on its cause and a local observatory said nothing had fallen from the sky on the day of the flash.

The Siberian Times said the 2014 flash did not have the same shape or pattern as the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which exploded over the Urals in February 2013, injuring at least 950 people. A fireball streaked through the morning sky, blowing out windows and rocking buildings, with hundreds suffering cuts and bruises.

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